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Local law enforcement issues safety tips for Halloween

(WBNG) — While Halloween is a fun holiday for kids, there are things parents worry about while they are trick-or-treating.

“At this time of year when a lot of people are out and about and they’re going to people’s houses, the question always comes up about sex offenders,” said Broome County Sheriff’s Office Captain Kathleen Newcomb.

Currently under New York State law, there are no restrictions placed on sex offenders that are specific to Halloween Night.

But that changes if the sex offender is on parole.

“Parole officers have the ability to give them restrictions as to not interacting with children, depending on their classification that they have,” said Binghamton Police Adminstrative Captain Larry Hendrickson.

Those restrictions can include not being able to go out of their homes, or hand out any candy on Halloween.

Authorities say it’s always best to be aware.

“Obviously avoid the locations you know there is known sex offenders, and if you don’t know in the particular neighborhood you’re going to be in we suggest you go to our website and go to the watch system link,” said Newcomb.

That link lets you put in your address so you can see where any registered sex offenders live in your area.

But staying safe doesn’t stop there

Authorities say you should check any treats you come home with.

“One of the big things that we advocate is when the kids come home with their candy, before they start eating the candy, that an adult goes through that candy, checks that candy out, makes sure there’s not anything in there that may harm the kids,” said Hendrickson.

Since many kids will be out when it gets dark, police also warn drivers to be careful on the roads.

“Drivers aren’t used to seeing young kids at night. So first of all, it’s very important for drivers to be aware of that. Whenever you come to intersections or watch for kids alongside the roadway, it’s very important,” said Hendrickson.

Binghamton Police and the Broome County Sheriff’s Office both had extra paroles out on Halloween, to keep kids safe.

“For the little ghouls and monsters and witches to be out and running around and trick or treating and getting their candy. Be cognizant of that, it’s really kind of their night,” said Newcomb.

Annie Flaherty

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